Have you noticed your puppy has started wetting the bed? Wondering why she does this and what it could all mean; could it indicate that something is wrong? This is what you must know and how you should approach it.
So, why does my puppy pee in her sleep? Puppies can pee the bed occasionally if they are not yet fully toilet trained or have needed to hold their urine for extended periods of time without having the required bladder muscle strength to do so. However, consistent and/or thorough soakings could indicate a more serious health condition or complication that should be investigated by a vet.
A lot has to do with the age of your puppy and their health.
Then there are factors like how long you have had them and your routine.
So, let us delve deeper into the reasons why puppies can either begin or continue to pee in their sleep and what you can do about it.
And as it could indicate something quite serious – I would suggest you read on!
By the way, this is known as urinary incontinence. You may need this when talking to a vet later on, so take note.
With that said, let’s begin.
Reasons Why Puppies Pee In Their Sleep
The most fundamental and underlying reason why a puppy will pee in their sleep is due to incontinence. Or, in other words, their inability to hold their urine. Why this occurs or develops can range and be down to a number of different factors.
Either way, your puppy is unable to control its bladder.
To some extent, this should be expected.
Besides, young puppies will need to be taken out to the bathroom frequently, especially at first.
And during this process, and transition to their new home and toilet patterns, a small amount of bed urination can occur.
That being said, puppies do not typically like, or want to pee in their beds or place of sleep.
So, a puppy that does not wake up to urinate or continues to wet the bed routinely is usually suffering from something a little more severe.
Their bladder muscles may be weakened, causing involuntary urination, due to the following:
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Urinary Tract Infections, known as UTIs, is common in dogs and it can arise at any age.
In a UTI, inflammation is caused by bacteria.
Essentially, a UTI occurs when bacteria are able to travel up into the bladder and multiply.
While painful, a UTI can also cause a puppy to pee while they sleep without realizing it.
At the same time, this condition can lead to excessive thirst, more water consumption, and therefore increase the need for a puppy to need to go.
Strong smelling urine, whining when peeing, bloody urine, dripping urine, or licking the genitals are all signs and symptoms to watch out for that could indicate a UTI has set in.
If you notice the following or suspect your dog has a UTI, you will need to take them to a vet.
This is not something that will clear up on its own and can be very painful to your pup. At the same time, it can also be quite hard to diagnose yourself and from home.
A veterinarian will need to examine your puppy and provide urinalysis. If detected, they will prescribe an antibiotic and course of treatment.
Spaying/Neutering Hormonal Changes
Has your puppy recently been spayed or neutered? If so, bedwetting and urination accidents are much more likely to occur.
This is the result of hormonal changes, which can impact the muscle tone of the sphincters in the bladder.
However, this should not go on forever.
It should subside in 2-3 weeks.
In the meantime, you can always liaise with your veterinarian about prescription drugs that can help.
And at the same time, continue good toilet practices and training with your puppy to ensure they do not get into bad habits!
Excessive thirst and drinking often go hand in hand with kidney disease.
And this is going to have an impact on how often your pup needs to go to the bathroom.
Nevertheless, kidney disease generally brings about the decline of the functioning of this important organ.
It can occur due to birth defects, an infection, high blood pressure, or as a complication of other diseases of the immune system.
Without prompt treatment, this disease can progress to kidney failure, which can be fatal.
The signs to look out for here are increased thirst, frequent urination, decreased appetite, and malaise/lethargy.
This will undoubtedly require veterinary support/treatment. But their approach will vary depending on the underlying cause.
It could be treating the infection; it could be providing medication for another condition.
Either way, it’s important this is addressed quickly.
Another condition that results in excessive thirst – and that will only result in the increased need to urinate.
This can therefore result in a puppy that pees in its sleep.
Lethargy, weight loss paired with an increase in appetite are just some symptoms to look out for.
A tailored dietary program and medication will likely be required from your vet.
Puppies and dogs will often leak urine if they have bladder stones or another mass (polyp or tumor) within the bladder.
Essentially, anything that can put pressure on the performance of the bladder or its ability to release/hold urine.
This can affect the functioning of the bladder and how often a puppy/dog needs to go.
Increased drinking/urination, presence of blood in the urine, straining or a complete loss of urination altogether are possible symptoms here.
Again, bladder stones will require veterinary attention.
Sometimes, surgical intervention will be required through a procedure known as a cystotomy.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), otherwise known as “slipped disc,” – is a condition where the cushioning discs between the vertebrae (bones) of the spine burst into the spinal cord space.
These discs then press onto the nerves of the spinal cord – resulting in pain, nerve damage, and even the loss of mobility.
As you can imagine, this can result in a puppy who loses bladder and/or bowel control.
IVDD is most common in older dogs, although it can occur when a puppy is young through forceful impact—jumping and landing from heights, too much strenuous activity, etc.
If you think your puppy has a slipped disc (IVDD), you must contact your vet at the earliest opportunity.
They will need to examine your puppy and run the required tests and exams.
Medications or even physiotherapy may be prescribed to ensure your puppy can resume functioning or live with the condition in a way that does not severely disrupt their quality of life.
How Long Do Puppies Pee In Their Sleep?
Puppies may occasionally pee in their sleep up until the age of around six months. Up until this time, their bladder muscles will be weaker and will not have fully developed – giving them less control or ability to hold their urine.
That being said, puppies should not routinely pee in their sleep, and this behavior should subside when they have been correctly toilet trained or after a few weeks/months in the new routine and home.
Thankfully, as your puppy grows and develops, the longer they will be able to hold their urine.
At the same time, they will proactively look to urinate away from their place of sleep.
What To Do If Your Puppy Is Peeing In Their Sleep?
If you have just noticed your puppy has started peeing in its sleep, first things first, you need to proactively look out for other signs/symptoms or changes in their behavior.
Has your dog suddenly began drinking more water? Are they walking a little differently? Do they appear in pain, or are they making any whining noises when they pee?
Are they going to the toilet at the same time? Are there other accidents around the house?
These are just some examples of what to look for.
Neverthless, if bedwetting occurs frequently, or there appears to be a lot of urine each time, it is best to consult a vet.
They can monitor and examine your puppy and prescribe an appropriate recommendation, possibly treatment.
While there may not be a serious complication in your puppy, there is always the possibility that something more severe could be causing the incontinence.
And time is of the essence here.
Early treatment can have a big impact on the outcome and save your dog a lot of pain in the process.
If it is just weak bladder issues, then your vet will, at the very least, provide some useful advice on what and how to support your dog while they are still developing.
And in the meantime, you may want to consider getting a DoggieLawn.
This will give your puppy a hygienic, practical, indoor place to go to the toilet and that they can use at any time.
Otherwise, be sure to quickly and regularly clean up after your puppy’s accidents and thoroughly wash all soiled bedding.
You do not want them to be sitting or lying in urinated bedding.
Wet bedding will warm and become a harbinger for bacteria and can result in infection (if your puppy has not developed one already).
Besides, puppies will not want to lie in this place, and this can impact their sleep too.
Whatever you do, do not punish your puppy.
Even if you do suspect it is a behavioral issue.
It will not resolve it, nor does it have any use or value.
In the extreme case that your veterinarian does need to provide medication, surgery, or some other treatment on your pup – consider you will need to provide an extra level of support and care when you bring them home.
Your vet will be able to support you with specific advice here, but you may need to consider changes to your routine or implementing the new suggestions recommended.
Puppies do pee in their sleep.
Especially while very young.
And if it is in small amounts or from time to time, this is somewhat normal.
It may just require a few minor changes to your routine. Or a little additional house and toilet training.
However, if you notice this becoming a routine and recurring thing, if other signs and symptoms are showing, or if you notice an abnormal amount of urine in their bed – do seek veterinarian support.
Besides, your puppy could be in a lot of pain.
And your swift action could prevent more significant issues down the line.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.